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Three Allentown men looking for a fight brutally attacked and killed a Kutztown University sophomore walking on the borough's busiest street early Friday to get back to his dorm room, authorities said.
Kyle G. Quinn, 19, of Warminster Township, Bucks County, who was in his second week at the school, was beaten at 2:27 a.m. and left lying in a pool of blood on a Main Street sidewalk, about a half-mile from campus.
University President F. Javier Cevallos called Quinn's death "a senseless isolated random act of violence." It stunned the quiet college town and staggered friends and classmates who knew the history major as a gentle soul with a passion for soccer, the outdoors and the martial arts.
Quinn had just left the apartment of his older brother, Dennis, also a Kutztown student, when he was attacked in the 100 block of W. Main Street, a friend said. One of the suspects yelled at the bloodied young man lying on the sidewalk, "Ah, look at you bitch" and "You're a pussy," police said.
Moments later, a Kutztown police officer patrolling the area stopped a car and detained the five men in it. Two brothers -- Terry D. Kline Jr., who turned 22 on Thursday, and Kenneth R. Kline, 21 -- and another passenger, Timothy R. Gearhart, 23, were later charged with aggravated assault and related offenses. They were sent to Berks County Prison under $10 million bail each.
District Attorney Mark C. Baldwin said the three men, who are not students, will probably face homicide charges after an autopsy is done today.
According to the arrest affidavits, Gearhart and the Klines had been drinking at Shorty's Bar at 272 W. Main St., Kutztown. One passenger told police the three harassed others on Main Street before the attack.
At his arraignment, a shackled Terry Kline vomited repeatedly into a bucket. His younger brother, wearing a mohawk cut, smiled and made an obscene gesture to a crowd that gathered at District Judge Wally Scott's courtroom in Reading.
Kyle Quinn, the son of Warminster supervisors Chairman Leo Quinn III, graduated from William Tennent High School in June 2006. He transferred to Kutztown after spending his freshman year studying business at Penn State University's Abington campus. Quinn also had taken a 4-credit biology course at Bucks County Community College over the summer.
His death was Kutztown's first homicide since 1982 and only the third since 1968, officials said.
According to the affidavits:
The Klines and Gearhart, along with Derik Houser and Andrew G. Weber, drove from Allentown to Kutztown and went to Shorty's Bar. Houser told police they left the bar and drove into an alley and onto Noble Street, stopping near Noble and Main.
Houser, 22, said the Klines and Gearhart got out of the car and started causing problems with "a group of kids." Houser said he parked on Main, and he and Weber, also 22, stayed in the car.
Houser said he looked back and saw the Klines and Gearhart with a person he did not know.
Terry Kline was putting his hands up and yelling at this person, Houser said, and later both Klines and Gearhart were yelling at the person. Terry Kline punched Quinn and then he, his brother and Gearhart got back into the car, he said. Houser said he saw the man lying on the ground with blood around his head.
Houser looked in his rear-view mirror and saw a police officer on Main at a traffic light, and Terry Kline told him, "Dee, just leave." Within seconds, Kutztown police Cpl. Paul Clery pulled their car over.
Weber, the front seat passenger, told police he remembered Terry Kline yelling at the person lying on the sidewalk and calling him "bitch" and "pussy."
Quinn had bruises and a deep cut on his head.
Besides aggravated assault, Terry Kline of 1315 W. Tremont St., Kenneth Kline of 930 Oak St., and Gearhart of 124 S. 10th St. are charged with two counts of simple assault and criminal conspiracy and one count of reckless endangerment.
At their arraignment, the three men were led out of a Berks County district attorney's prisoner transport van and escorted into the courthouse by Kutztown and Reading police. Quinn's father and mother were there, sobbing.
Alex Courtney, a 20-year-old Kutztown junior, is a friend of both Quinn and his older brother, Dennis, a senior. Courtney, on the porch of his Main Street apartment with roommates late Friday afternoon, said he had no idea what prompted the attack on Kyle Quinn, who he said had a black belt in karate but never used his martial arts training for fights.
"He wouldn't provoke a fight with one person, let alone five," he said.
Courtney said he saw Kyle Quinn on Thursday afternoon at a live band performance on campus. That night, Quinn attended a get-together at his brother's apartment near where he was attacked, Courtney said.
At the get-together, Quinn listened to music and talked about the first few days of school, but Courtney doesn't recall seeing him argue with anyone or even take a drink.
After 2 a.m., Quinn left the apartment to walk back to his dorm room at Bonner Hall, about a mile away, Courtney said.
Nick Santagata, 21, a fourth-year student at Kutztown, said he went outside for a cigarette early Friday, spotted Quinn on the sidewalk about a half-block away and "heard a bunch of screaming and yelling."
Police showed up a short time later and tried to stanch Quinn's bleeding and took three men into custody, he said. The man with the mohawk, later identified as Kenneth Kline, kept saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" as he was being handcuffed, Santagata said.
Quinn was taken by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where he died at 3:36 a.m., Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said.
Throughout the day, Cevallos, the Kutztown president, updated students by e-mail about the attack and the investigation. Counselors and the campus ministers were available to students who needed them, said Jason Garcia, the building director at Bonner Hall.
The university said that early next week, representatives of the borough, students and the school staff will initiate a neighborhood watch program to keep students and residents safe.
Quinn had worked the past three summers in the kitchen at the Five Ponds Golf Course in Warminster. His boss, Debra Caucci, said she loved the athletic young man like a son and remembered his excitement two weeks ago when he and Dennis, driving a packed minivan, stopped at the course on their way to Kutztown.
"He was so looking forward to it," she said. "I told him, "Be careful, just have fun, and I'll see you in the winter.' I'm just so glad I got to hug and kiss him one last time."
Caucci and chef Al Dantzler said Quinn talked passionately about his favorite musicians -- Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and other classic acts from the 1960s and '70s -- and politics.
He was a self-described liberal, according to his page on a social networking Web site, and counted works of Jack Kerouac, Hermann Hesse and Aldous Huxley among his favorite books.
Friends said he had a passion for getting close to nature through hiking and biking.
News of the killing shook Warminster employees, who know Quinn's father well because of his years on the Board of Supervisors. Township Manager Robert Tate described Kyle Quinn as "a great kid with a wonderful work ethic."
At Shorty's Bar on Friday night, regulars and bartenders said they heard about what happened from watching the TV news, but none said they remembered seeing any of the suspects because the bar was so packed on Thursday night and early Friday.
Thursday nights on Main Street, which is lined with bars, off-campus student apartments and restaurants, are normally the busiest night of the week, because many students go home for the weekend, students said. This week was busier than normal, many students said.
Because of the party atmosphere on Thursday nights, Main Street attracts non-students from outside the area, the students said. It also attracts problems, they say.
All three suspects had been in trouble in the past, according to court records.
In 2004, Gearhart pleaded guilty to simple assault in Allentown and was ordered to pay a fine and do 30 hours of community service.
Terry Kline was charged in 2004 with disorderly conduct for fighting in Whitehall Township and paid a fine. Kenneth Kline was put on a court program for first-time offenders after Allentown police charged him in 2006 with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.